Lamb Of God’s new album, ‘VII: Sturm Und Drang’ is one of the more consistent records the band has released to date. It’s still heavy and fast, and deals with the external as one would expect, but it also delves internally, perhaps more so than we’ve seen from the U.S. metallers. Considering the events that inspired the album’s themes, it’s no wonder the microscope turns inwards. Speaking to bassist John Campbell, we get his thoughts on the band’s newest album, and how’s he been finding the reactions to their killer new record.
Hi there John, how are you doing today?
Hey Alex, I’m doing good, thank you.
Good to hear, what are you up to today, apart from these interviews of course?
Oh we just loaded into the show, and did a brief sound check, and then tomorrow we start our tour in The U.S. with Slipknot.
Sick! I can imagine you’re pretty pumped for the tour. You guys have a lot of good history with Slipknot.
We’ve played a number of festivals with them and passed them so much while on the road since we first played with ten years ago. We have a bit of history with them. When we got Randy out of prison, they were kind enough to let us have our slot back on Knot Fest and that was our first show back with Randy. We definitely have a kinship with these guys.
I do remember that actually, that was a big part of the last DVD you guys put out. With the tour, you’ll be playing a lot of the new material, and with one of the new songs, ‘Overlord’, do you think that vocal style would have worked for Lamb Of God earlier on or if this is the perfect time for that song to exist?
Wow you know, I don’t honestly know. I think it was the perfect time to do it as now seemed like the time it felt right. When I was first told about it, when Josh [Wilbur, producer] sat me down and showed it to he said, ‘Randy sings on it’. My first thought was ‘Er What? Ah fuck!’ but it was incredibly cool, so good on Randy for that one.
Regarding some the new songs and their themes and lyrics, how have you and the rest of the band been finding watching these kinds of lyrics come out of him?
I’m glad that he’s been truthful about his person and about his lyrics. If he were writing about riding down the highway in his Convertible Cadillac full of women and drugs into the sunset he’d be full of shit, as he doesn’t live like that [laughs]. He comes from a place of truth and honesty and that’s just Randy, man.
With the time that reflects a lot of those lyrics, you must think a lot about what had happened if he had remained in jail?
Sure, in the thick of it there was the psychological shock that we may have already played our last show and this thing that I’ve dedicated more than half my life to is over is not a fun experience. I haven’t slowed down to think if it had gone down differently as I don’t have the luxury. As this moment is happening because of the previous one.
For real, man. With that previous moment though, that must have shaped so much of how you Lamb Of God now and its future?
Oh, of course. There’s still the shock that a fan came to our show and he’s not here anymore, that’s a pretty heavy thing. That helps to put things into perspective, and the smaller issues seem so much smaller now. It really re-shapes your outlook.
I don’t doubt that for second. As it’s still Thursday in the States, over here in Australia it’s the 24th so the album’s technically out here in Australia. Despite how many records you’ve done, do you ever get nervous when you’re on the cusp of releasing a new album?
I would say that I’ve take it all in stride. It’s always funny to sit back and see people’s reactions. When ‘Overlord’ came out, I got to watch the Internet get all squirmy about the new stuff as well, which is always fun. I don’t even think this album leaked, which is pretty fucking cool.
That may be a first for 2015 man. With watching the reactions, do you ever see some comments where you just completely shake your head?
I actually took a screenshot of an iTunes review here in the States of some of the singles. There where two reviews right next to each other. One guy says ‘This is the same old bullshit, I hate it’, and the next guy wrote ‘Why couldn’t they do what they’re known for all of that kick ass stuff, I hate it’, so to me it’s hilarious. There was a guy who I read about that I really love that when he heard ‘Overlord’, it made him want to grab a knife and cut the Lamb Of God tattoo off his arm. To me, that’s hilarious and that made my day. They got the tattoo, which is permanent, and now they want to scar themselves even more (laughs).
That’s some pretty gnarly shit right there. Well before we end this John, I just wanted to say thank you so much for writing ‘Sacrament’, that record means so much to me.
[Chuckles] Right on man, right on. I’m glad you found something we did that could affect you so strongly, I’m glad I could be apart of that man.
‘VII: Sturm Und Drang’ is out now via Nuclear Blast.